Teachers’ and head teachers’ views of democratic practices in Scottish rights respecting secondary schools

Phoon, Yong Shian (2015) Teachers’ and head teachers’ views of democratic practices in Scottish rights respecting secondary schools. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3099469


This research investigates how Scottish teachers and head teachers view democratic practices in their schools, which are the secondary schools who achieved the Level One Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA). These schools were targeted since the award required schools to teach and practice the United Nations Convention of Rights of the Child (UNCRC), where pupil voice should be respected and their participation valued. The implementation and initiation of the RRSA in these schools are described, together with what was perceived by teachers and head teachers as benefits, challenges and facilitating factors of implementing the RRSA in their schools. How they viewed democratic schools is also investigated to understand their motivation to improve pupil voice and participation. This information is analysed to examine how close these schools were to become a ‘democratic school’, which was defined as pupils’ individual rights being upheld and having an equal share of responsibility in school management with adults.
This investigation involves four schools located in the Central Scotland area. School documents were collected together with interview responses from thirteen teachers and three head teachers in semi-structured interviews. From the findings, it is discovered that children’s rights were upheld to some extent in these schools and there was an increased share of pupils’ responsibility in school management. These changes were brought from bottom-up forces consisted of teachers and pupils, when the RRSA was introduced from a top-down approach. However, such improvement was bounded by the constraints from the national policy and adults’ judgement on pupils’ maturity. These have a number of implications for educational practitioners in schools, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which initiated the RRSA and policy makers, if children’s rights and pupil participation are aimed to be upheld and improved respectively.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Democratic education, Rights-Respecting School Award (RRSA), UNCRC, Scottish secondary schools
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Schweisfurth, Prof. Michele and Britton, Dr. Alan
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Yong Shian Phoon
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-5975
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 13:57
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2015 08:46
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5975

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